Ep 104: James Talia, etc

Tonight (or whenever you happen to listen) on the Boxes:

Live from London, James Talia. Some stuff not to buy. Memorable things people have said. A triple attack of new US shows. Answer the questions, win a prize.

Plus everything you need to know from and for the world of television for this week.


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    1. Swingers is the best movie ever made. Ever.

      So there, McQueen.

      Doug Liman, more power to ya.

    2. Somehow I knew you comment on this Jimbo but I was expecting more swearing.

    3. Nah. I’m trying to cut down!

      Even without the profanity my post is still money.

      It’s so money and it doesn’t even know it.

    4. Congrats Ross!

      I’ve one more point to make about SD/HD, I’ll try not to make it too technical: Coonan’s a dick. Yes the networks can’t launch extra SD channels until 2009, but as of December (?) last year they can do what they like with their single HD channel. This is why they’re all doing HD channels rather than SD.

      If all this were done properly years ago [i.e. allowing proper multichannelling right from the start], most people would have adopted digital by now and the old analogue frequencies could have been terminated in 2009 instead of 2012, making these thick bastards loads of money sooner. It really does beggar belief.

      Last night she’s telling Kerry O’Brien the Liberals’ broadband rollout is to finish in two years and will be progressively rolled out in that time, not at the end of it; then two minutes later she’s bagging out Labor because its plan ends in 2011, therefore nothing will be done before the end of that year! Hello, didn’t you just contradict your own argument?? Argh they need to stop making people who are this stupid.

      At least this time she didn’t say ‘pie in the sky’ or refer to ‘gigabytes of power.’

    5. The feed is not working for me on iTunes…

    6. Don’t feel too bad gang – I remember (as a much younger ‘Wa) getting to sit in KITT when he was flown in for Brisbane’s Expo ’88; I think I was similarly starstruck. Of course, there’s only so many things you can say to a car…
      I think I mumbled something along the lines of “so… seen any good movies, lately?” “and just how ARE you related to the Cylons, anyway? erm…”

      Anywho, I always thought KARR was the cooler vehicle – even if I could never work out where his goatee (to symbolise he was the evil twin) was kept…

      Now THERE’s a mental image-!

    7. catbrain says:

      I still don’t reckon The Block boys would return to Nine until JA is well and truly out the door.

      That’s a nice idea re the ITV soap/behind the scenes show… but is it really something new? Isn’t that exactly what they do already with Doctor Who and Doctor Who Confidential on BBC?

      It always looked to me like he was running backwards at the end

    8. The feed is not working for me on iTunes?
      Comment by Mike Beckham 10.02.07 @ 18:11

      Me either.

      As to the fall list, Yes I will agree that The Bionic Woman took Waaaaaay to long to get to the point of the show…. But it does have potential. Life I didn’t mind at all. As a “non-house” watcher (I don’t really like medical shows), Life is some what refreshing. Another new one out there is Moonlight which has potential, its about a Vampire private detective (reminded me a lot of Forever Knight) so I will be watching that (its a Vampire show, always have to watch those) Family Guy is back on for those of us that like it. Criminal Minds is back too which is something I will be watching. Heroes is back (and the first ep was pretty good. Journeyman is another new one which is not bad (bit Quantum Leap-ish)And of course Dexter is coming back and that will be good.

    9. Hey Guys, could you retry your iTunes feeds? Mine was a little sluggish and then I updated through the Boxcutters subscribe page, which wasn’t affected, but now I can’t check if it’s working.

      The in-browser player up in the post shouldn’t have affected anything but it’s the only thing that’s changed this week that may be breaking the iTunes feed. Perhaps there’s something up with the Feedburner conversion.

      The browser player was added with no fanfare this week, in case it complicated things. We’ll have to discover and splat out any bugs.

    10. Was ok this morning Brett.

    11. I think the problem was through Feedburner’s conversion rather than anything else – I had to update the feed there and that fixed my resubscription in iTunes.

      What do people think of the show being available in a player in the browser? Are you switching pages too much to get through the show or does it work?

    12. Well done to Catbrain on taking out the Crumpler bean bag. There was some stiff competition from a large field that brought in many new visitors – thanks for all your efforts.

      Catbrain’s response was in an obscure post so here it is again for those who missed it:


      Thanks so much to Crumpler for their generosity (more than bags – it’s a lifestyle *grin*) and many thanks to the wonderful readers of RYWHM for clicking through to Boxcutters – I hope a few of you have stuck around.

    13. For what it’s worth, I use IcePodder and received it as normal.

      In a web page? Meh. Most regular listeners will have it in aggregation anyway.

    14. It works now, if you want an embedded player use this plugin for Wordpress.

      We use it for our podcast and it works a treat.

    15. Mike, I almost went for that plugin but the one we’ve installed – WordTube – is a WP front-end for a more functional media player. It shouldn’t actually affect the RSS feed and I suspect it was a problem at the Feedburner point.

      Adam, I know that most of our smart listeners are fine with managing podcast downloads but there’s a lot out there who haven’t taken that step. We get heaps more hits on the blog than we do on the mp3s – that we can see stats for anyways – and a readily accessible player will hopefully allow them to discover the joys of the show without having to download or install anything.

    16. I did say on the show this week that I’d post more details on a couple of stories we ran out of time for so here they are:

      Dexter visiting Oz
      Michael C. Hall, who plays the notorious Dexter will visit Australia this month.

      Hall, previously in Six Feet Under, plays the serial killer who kills serial killers in the acclaimed Showtime drama.

      He will participate in a cinema preview screening and Q+A in Melbourne and Sydney.

      The series premieres on the new Showcase channel in December.

      Based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter, a novel by Jeff Lindsay, Dexter is one of the most complicated characters ever to grace the small screen. He has a steady girlfriend who adores him, he’s the main support for his sister, and a respected member of the Miami Police Department, but he is also a vigilante serial killer who hunts down people who’ve escaped justice, and ensures they never commit another crime.

      Every once and a while a show comes along that is so creepy and so intriguing that you feel compelled to watch. Dexter is one of those shows. The serial killer part will no doubt make some of you squirm, but those who enjoy characters that aren’t bad, but aren’t totally that good either, will completely (and morbidly) love this new series.

      This program includes a screening of the Pilot and second episode from Dexter, and features an on-stage discussion with Actor Michael C. Hall, about his title role.

      Melbourne Oct 29. Kino Cinema
      Sydney Oct 31. Greater Union Bondi

      Supernanny’s kids ‘forced to cry’
      MAKERS of the parenting reality show Supernanny badgered toddlers into crying on camera in a desperate attempt to win ratings, it has been claimed.
      Production staff were said to be up in arms after being told to push youngsters to the point of tears to make the program more compelling.

      Scenes from the show were doctored and manipulated, it was also alleged.

      The program, starring nanny Jo Frost, was a ratings hit in the UK and became similarly successful in the US and Australia.

      However, a British TV veteran yesterday claimed the program was one of many reality shows taking liberties with the truth.

      Roger Graef, 71, one of Britain’s leading film-makers and broadcasters, has revealed a litany of dishonour among reality shows.

      “In some reality programs I have had producers come to me and say ‘I can’t do this any more, I have been told to change the ending to conform to the script’,” Mr Graef said.

      “They were told to force children to cry on Supernanny. They were told to change things on Wife Swap.

      “If what you are producing is entertainment and you are using real people to do it then, the truth is, there is a long tradition of illusions. That is the reality behind it.”

      Mr Graef, who was awarded a BAFTA fellowship in 2004 and received an OBE in 2006 for services to the film industry, made the claims this week in front of a packed audience of students and prominent media figures at the London School of Economics during a debate entitled TV On Trial.

      He cited the “culture of rating wars” for the increased pressure on producers to deliver.

      SOURCE: yourTV.com.au

    17. scalpel4hire says:

      Hi All

      iTunes didn’t seem to want to know re downloading the podcast this week, till tonight. Don’t know if you re-jigged anything, but thanks if you did.

      Re the in-browser player idea, I guess it doesn’t affect me much – I don’t have a desk job, usually download the podcast & listen to it in the car.

      Keep up the good work.

    18. catbrain says:

      What an odd show Bionic Woman is – shades of Bladerunner and Kill Bill in there too. It doesn’t really seem to know what it wants to be, does it? I did enjoy her initial reaction to the anthrosites, though – I’d be screaming and punching people too.

    19. Brett, do you maybe want to quote your sources on those articles you republished? Media Watch have their hawk-like eyes on us and are just waiting for us to slip up.

    20. dlutchy says:


      You mentioned that The Bionic Woman had to go through the explaination in the first episode and the the $6 mill man summed it up at the beginning of the episode.

      Wel recently I saw the 1st episode of $6m man and it was very slow as it went through the whole explaination with him.

    21. Oh, really? How upsetting. Clearly I’ve never seen the first episode. Then again, if I thought about it for long enough, so many of those 70s shows had long, laborious introductory episodes that didn’t add anything to the story.

      This trend spread into the 80s with shows like Greatest American Hero and probably started in the 60s with shows like I Dream of Jeannie.

      Can anybody think of other shows that had a premise that was explained tediously in the opening episode and then had to have the premise repeated in the opening credits?

    22. David Boxcutter says:

      Sigh. Nobody can tell you what “High Definition” is, because the term is meaningless.

      It’s a completely pointless pursuit to try and use the term in a serious context. The finding of those survey results are totally worthless, because any of the video formats they show could be considered “High Definition.”

      DVD is High Definition according to some usages. The term has been used for decades, to refer to video of even lower resolution than DVD or today’s analogue PAL broadcasts.

      For example:

      John Logie Baird had given the first public demonstration of low-definition television back in 1925.
      There had been experimental transmissions from a studio in Broadcasting House since 1932. On 2
      November 1936 the BBC opened the world?s first regular service of high-definition television from
      Alexandra Palace in North London, known affectionately as Ally Pally.

      Understand? High Definition TV has been around for over 70 years.

      If you are using this term expecting it to mean something specific, then don’t be surprised if it backfires, because it has never beden used to refer to something specific – just something of higher resolution than something else.

      Seeing as that “something else” has been of extremely low resolution at previous times in history – then pretty much anything qualifies as High Definition if it has more than 2 pixels.

    23. David Boxcutter says:

      Just to add a little mopre background to the above – “more than 2 pixels” might be pushing it, but not by far.

      Then he gave the world’s first public demonstration of a working television system to members of the Royal Institution and a newspaper reporter on January 26, 1926 at his laboratory in London. Unlike later electronic systems with several hundred lines of resolution, Baird’s vertically scanned image, using a scanning disk embedded with a double spiral of lenses, had only 30 lines, just enough to reproduce a recognizable human face.

      30 lines. Maybe that should be considered “low definition”, being a prototype.

      So, what’s “standard definition” – that’s probably answered by the TV systems that were actually employed in mass service:

      In 1932 he demonstrated ultra-short wave television. Baird’s electromechanical system reached a peak of 240 lines of resolution on BBC television broadcasts in 1936, before being discontinued in favor of a 405-line all-electronic system developed by Marconi-EMI.

      So, I guess we can consider 240 lines of resolution as “standard definition”. The BBC’s 405 line system was called “High Definition TV”.

      There you go. 405 lines could be considered the point at which high-definition is achieved – if you wanted to create an arbitrary cut-off point.

      But still, it’s better to avoid using the term because it’s meaningless. 405 lines might be logical, but different people will disagree with that, too.

      What I don’t really understand is why the industry started using “high definition” to describe their new TVs, when the term is over 7- years old and is applicable to much lower resolution systems. Why didn’t they just come up with a new name to avoid confusion?

    24. Josh said: Can anybody think of other shows that had a premise that was explained tediously in the opening episode and then had to have the premise repeated in the opening credits?

      The Prisoner. 12 minute opening sequence every ep.

      Re: Bionic Woman.
      I have now seen both edits of the first ep, and though I thought it was still a little slow in places, the re-shoot was far far better. They completely changed Jamie’s sister from a deaf emo chick to a Computer nerd. Different actress too. I actually think the show has quite a lot of potential. Looking at it, there was a lot of stuff that got re-shot throughout the episode, even the first view of her bionics.

    25. Watched ep2 of Bionic Woman. Significantly better.

    26. dlutchy says:

      Josh said: Can anybody think of other shows that had a premise that was explained tediously in the opening episode and then had to have the premise repeated in the opening credits?

      Heres a few easy ones:

      – Brady Bunch
      – Odd Couple
      – Gilligans Island.

      Wow thinking about it now it seemed to be a theme in the late 60’s and early 80s

    27. @Brett you could always use the plugin I use on the actual posts and your plugin on the sidebar. Just a thought…

    28. Not that I want to have another giant techy conversation, but David, the reason chunks of Europe defined HD as 720 lines and higher is to give HD a distinctive meaning.

    29. David Boxcutter says:

      Adam, I think that is just as problematic. That means that companies can market their products as “HD” without supporting 1080i or 1080p.

      The solution is simply to refer to the specific resolution. Using HD as a catch-all phrase will always be problematic.

      The thing that gets on my goat is the survey mentioned on Boxcutters, where they were telling people they were “wrong” about HD. Even though the facts are on my side, if I gave a technically correct answer, I would be considered wrong and ignorant – even though I know all about HD resolutions and the history of video.

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